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home > Towns & Villages > About Henley on Thames > About Nettlebed

About Nettlebed

Nettlebed is a village in England in the Chiltern Hills about 4.5 miles (7 km) northwest of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire and 6 miles (10 km) southeast of Wallingford.
The area around Nettlebed has been inhabited since Palaeolithic times.
Nettlebed was of some importance in ancient times because of its position on the point where the Henley - Oxford road intersects the Chiltern Ridgeway. Later it became a noted staging post. Legend has it that many Kings and Queens stayed at the former Red Lion in the High Street.
The site was frequently travelled through since ancient times, being a pass through the Chiltern Hills used by the road between Oxford and Henley. The road between Henley and Wallingford was made into a turnpike in 1736 and ceased to be a turnpike in 1873.  It is now classified the A4130.
From the 14th century Nettlebed became important for brick making, which continued until the 1930s. One remaining pottery kiln is preserved in the village.
The sand used in the manufacture of the first flint glass was sourced from Nettlebed by George Ravencroft in 1674.
Nettlebed was also very well provided for in times gone by. It was not necessary to leave the village for goods and services. The White Hart Hotel is now the only remaining hostelry. In the past there were also the  Nags Head, Red Lion, Cross Keys,  Bull, Sun Inn and Carpenters Arms. Shops included cobbler, two bakers, butcher, cycle, petrol and repair garage, grocer/haberdasher, hardware, pharmacy, cafe/post office, blacksmith and farrier as well as men's, women's and children's clothing and shoes.
Nowadays there is a very good village shop and post office, a petrol station and a car repair workshop.
Water arrived in 1927, electricity in 1935 and main drainage in 1961 for most homes. The latter provided by a treatment works built by US Army engineers during WW2 and later linked to the village.


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